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New systems and mechanic changes: Ideas to enhance Beyond Earth

Discussion in 'CivBE - Ideas and Suggestions' started by Galgus, May 4, 2015.

  1. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    I've always thought Beyond Earth has incredible potential with most of it untapped.

    More than anything I think it needs more flavor, more things that make it stand out and spice it up to make it a good game.

    Thread title links exist for ideas best summarized here and read in detail elsewhere so as not to clutter things.

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    Threatening Aliens
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    Prior to release the Aliens were advertised as a truly dangerous entity to anger, but they tend to be tamer than Barbarians.

    To start, removing Ultrasonic Fence from the game would prevent players from negating them as a threat.

    Destroying Alien Nests would now grant a substantial food boost to the nearest city rather than Energy, making more sense logically and making them a better target.

    Continuing this trend, the Survivalism Might virtue now grants food in the nearest city based on the combat strength of slain Aliens.

    Clearing miasma or forests would attract Aliens and make them locally more aggressive similarly to how proximity to a Nest or a recent attack does.

    I would make hostile actions against them generally anger them faster, with destroying Nests being enough to instantly make them very hostile.

    Hostile aliens will now swarm cities, creating scenarios where players will truly need to fight for survival.

    To help defensive players out, hostile actions within one's own territory anger the Aliens half as much, Siege Worms and Kraken take twice the aggression to shift to each hostility stage, and both of them have a longer delay before spawning.

    Altogether these changes would make a soft warmongering tactic of riling up the Aliens more viable, and make conflicts with the Aliens more impactful.
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    Army Based Defense
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    I feel that Aliens and wars in general would be more interesting if they were based more on Armies rather than breaking city-fortesses with mobs of ranged units.

    First, at the start of the game three Military units are mainenance free - raising by 1 with every three Affinity levels.

    This keeps them from being a drain on one's economy for no immediate benefit while they are not being used offensively.

    Second, melee units no longer take damage from attacking cities.

    This will make conquering with melee units more viable; in particular Aliens would be far more dangerous.

    Third, cities now lack a ranged attack before building a Rocket Battery, reinforcing the sense of danger in the early game.

    Fourth, units now receive a 15% combat boost in their own territory. Aliens receive a 15% combat boost in Miasma.
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    Biome based threat and resource modifiers, Multi-Biome maps, and three new Biomes
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    Biomes now influence basic resource quantities and locations, as well as terrain features and layouts.

    Each Biome also has its own tweaks to the quantity of small and/or large Aliens and their locations, giving them unique threats.

    Maps can now include multiple Biomes, with the locations of different Biomes determined by semi-random map generation weighted by fitting map locations for them.

    Tundra biomes are mineral rich frozen wastes with small clusters of forest.

    Volcanic biomes host dangerous, but magma energy-rich ashlands around volcanic mountains with lush forests in the distance.

    Swamp biomes are rich in rivers and marshlands overrun by aliens and miasma with small, safer hill zones.
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    Quest Overhauls, New Quests and Station Quests
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    Frankly, I think we could use more quests that require some form of interaction, with more unique, fun, and worthwhile rewards.

    They can also be made to be far more relevant in Affinity accrual, making it less strictly tech reliant.

    Some of them may stir the pot of international relations, leading to conflicts over affinity and control of Progenitor Ruins.

    Station quests allow you to either side with them for a trade boost, destroy them for a large one-time boost, or capture them for an enhanced city.

    Stations also impede city expansion far less than they used to, though they each come with their own potential downside.
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    Natural Wonders with Affinity Quest Decisions
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    A list of, currently, six Natural Wonders for Beyond Earth that can be developed in affinity-specific ways.

    This adds a bit of story to how your colony interacts with them while mechanically helping them scale to the mid-late game.

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    Federations: Formal Alliance system and Victory condition
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    Federations are essentially formal alliances where colonies in the same federation vote on matters of war, peace, federation leader, and alien relations.

    If you are the leader of a federation that includes all colonies that still retains their capitol city, you win after a countdown.

    The faction leader sets a minor bonus that is shared by all federation members, but as a downside for joining federation members gain increased spy effectiveness against their federation allies.

    Breaking from and spying within federations can have diplomatic consequences, adding weight to joining, betraying, and leaving them.

    Though it is not the only factor, they form easier along affinity lines.

    With them, true world wars may become more commonplace, and you may find several disgruntled AI's team up against you if you near victory.

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    Devotions System: Making Affinity far more impactful on your colony.
    ______________________

    This is my biggest, most impactful proposal.

    I hate how Affinity choice is far less influential on ones's colony than Ideologies were in BNW despite being central to the game's theme.

    With this system, unlocked primarily with Culture and secondarily with Science and gated by affinity level, Affinity choice will have an outright massive impact on your colony.

    Harmony colonies become the most populous with massive growth, health, and expansion bonuses. While other Affinities live on the planet, Harmony truly thrives on it.

    Purity colonies are culturally focused, converting cultural output into other yields. They focus on building a utopia for humanity, and are encouraged to mix Terrascapes into their tiles.

    Supremacy colonies become industrial juggernauts, eventually substituting food for energy and production to grow their cities. They are also the strongest specialist affinity with their augmentations.
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    Fleet Expeditions: The beginnings of multi-planet empires.
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    This is essentially a late game system that provides powerful trade routes from early post-Earth colonization efforts, mining operations, and research voyages.

    Players must secure ample amounts of Energy, Titanium, and Geothermal resources to construct and defend expeditionary fleets and the military fleets to guard and raid them.

    Military fleets consist of current air units assigned to them and new Capital ships: powerful units that are extremely expensive to construct and repair.

    Massive trade yields and pillaged energy await players who fully utilize this system.

    Important note - this system is kept entirely planet-centric to not disrupt the theme of Beyond Earth. Players will not be managing new colonies on other planets.
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    New Victory Conditions
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    Every Affinity/ sub affinity combination receives its own victory conditions with its own - to the extent of my imagination - unique challenges.

    All in all, this makes for 9 Affinity victory conditions, for a total of 12 ways to win including Contact, Conquest, and Federations.

    This also helps explore the dynamics and goals of a colony based on its affinity while allowing immersion seeking players more options.
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    Extra Idea - Possible Fourth Affinity
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    Less of a true suggestion, the Discovery affinity focuses on a potential reaction to the Progenitors where they are seen as an enlightened elder raise to be followed and emulated - culturally, scientifically, and genetically.

    Research on the Progenitors leads to a psionic theme, largely focused on debuffs and somewhat experimental equipment that works best at full health in combat.

    It doesn't truly fit the theme as well as Beyond Earth's excellent Affinities, but it qualifies as a philosophy and response to what was found on the planet that shapes a colony's development.
     
  2. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    A lot of good ideas in this thread (though I honestly think a new Affinity may well be coming at some point, assuming future support for BE beyond 2.0), but I want to pick on a couple of things I think need more refinement.

    Threatening Aliens:

    Aliens are threatening in that they're an acceptable roadblock in a variety of situations. If you're too comfortable with them, then the Frenzied Aliens setting improves on their placement and number (and thus aggression, unless you really try your hardest not to kill any of them).

    Important note: Aliens are not another AI to fight against. The AI is the one that should be razing your cities (if you are beaten). The Aliens shouldn't so much. Especially since the AI gets absolutely massive bonuses vs. Aliens on most difficulty levels, all you're doing in this scenario is making games vs. the AI artificially harder by making the Aliens more impactful on yourself.

    Admittedly, this would affect all players equally in an MP game, but again you're then dependent on spawn locations, Nest locations and whether you beeline Harmony for friendly Nests or Purity to burn everything to the ground.

    I think more varied (and improvable) bonuses for destroying Nests is a good idea. I also think clearing / building Miasma should also have an impact, as well as clearing Forests (potentially). That said, I don't think any of the other changes are necessary to the base game. Perhaps in a Scenario map?​

    Army-based Defense:

    Really not comfortable with this given how viable both early-game rushes are and how effective melee units can be (Rovers in particular). If you wanted to make Alien rushes more effective, simply grant them bonuses against Cities instead of applying a rather insane bonus to all melee units (could you imagine what this would do to Battlesuit strategies?).

    Not a fan of any of the suggestions here, they're either all far too strong, or are too generic for the problem you're attempting to solve.​
     
  3. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    I kind of doubt they will add another affinity, though it would be good expansion material.

    The existing ones just cover the bases very well, so to speak.
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    Aliens are barely a speed bump for me, though I hunt them aggressively with a mod to make them more aggressive sooner when attacked.

    I don't want the Aliens to be another AI to fight against, I want them to be a potential threat early game that allows for indirect warmongering.

    Ideally proximity of alien nests to capitals would be somewhat normalized and the AI bonuses tuned so that they are not unscathed.

    For it to be impactful there would need to be some delay before Harmony gets friendly nests, though they should be an actual asset at that point.

    It would probably be best to make changes like this optional.
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    I tend to think in terms of single player where there is a general peace in the early game with goodwill between new colonies.

    I wouldn't mind the defensive territory bonus being larger early to discourage incredibly early wars and to simulate that effect on morale.

    Battlesuits aren't really that early game, but it would be better to balance the unit rather than leave melee units in general very weak in city warfare.

    The ideal would be to make maintaining a standing army as a peaceful player less costly and to focus wars on armies clashing rather than city sieges.
     
  4. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    But armies clashing doesn't win you territory. Winning territory involves capturing cities, so making war will always involve the endgame of taking cities. I clash with AI units frequently when doing so; our armies do clash.

    Is the problem the fact that the game requires you to take / found cities to advance? If so, I doubt this is something that can easily be fixed.
     
  5. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    Cities will always be an objective, but fundamentally armies fight wars - not cities.

    Fortifications can grant logistical advantages, but cities in Civ 5 and BE can often hold off ludicrous hordes of enemy units with tiny forces of their own.

    The problem is how much cities currently defend themselves and how peaceful players are somewhat discouraged, by maintenance, from having a proper standing army.
     
  6. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    I see that as representative of reality, cities obviously being very adept at defending themselves from attack.

    Also, while my experience with Civ. games II, III and IV are limited, the original Civilisation also allowed you to eventually get cities that are virtually unkillable, and due to the Stacks of Doom™ you could also attack any offending tiles with your ten-stack of Mobile Armour.

    I mean, could this be something to be improved on? Perhaps, in a further evolution of the Civilisation series. I don't see a design as fundamental as this changing in a patch for BE (or even CiV). If you want to get changes into BE, I'd settle for the ones that require less overhaul of said fundamentals.
     
  7. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    Cities can delay attacks, but ultimately a vastly superior army tends to win.

    This could also be simulated with a sort of starve out mechanic, but I see no harm in letting melee units fight cities short of heavy siege perks.

    Stacks of doom are why I don't want 1 UPT going away.
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    I agree that this isn't a very likely change since it would change a fundamental of war - it mostly stems from my personal annoyance with the war system.

    It is probably the least fun/important change anyway.
     

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